tv Charlie Rose PBS December 9, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST
>> rose: welcome to our program. we begin with nail ferguson, the british historian. his new book is called "civilation" the rest and the west. >> i tell you what is over is western predominance. that assumpon that gu like us should rule the world which has been around a long time. i think that's over. and when you consider that it was 500 years in the make son, basically for half a millennium people like us got richer, more powerful, taller, healthier than everybody else i think that's over. in that see we're entering a new era in which there won't be a natural ascendancy that people takeor granted. >> rose: we continue with the
history of a city and the book "jerusalem: the biography." >> i wanted to write an unbiased unprejudiced account that jerusalem is a city of mythology all the religions have their own storieand ny are historically wrong and yet people die for them. and so they're as important as the facts. >> rose: we conclude talking about photography and photographers with john loengar whose book is called "age of silver: encounters with great photographers" >>he great photographer as the knack of putting a great picture in front of his camera. and if you realize what cameras do, that has to be the case. a great picture is a sting thing. they don't put bad pictures in front of their cameras. they don't take pictures when
crisis have been met with great discussion and controversy. his new book "civilization" considers western civilization's rise to global dominance and its futu. i am pleased to have naill ferguson at this tle. tell me, ist over for us? >> not necessarily. by i tell you what is over and that's western predominance. i think that assumption that guys like us should rule the world-- which has been around a long time-- i think that's over. and when you consider that it was 500 years in the making that basically for half a mill leb yum people like us got richer, more powerful, taller, healthie than everybody else. i think that's over. i think that sense we're enring a new era in which there won't be a natural weste ascendancy that people like us take for granted. >> rose: that's what i mean. not that it's over, but the ascendancy, we are now being challenged by i assume we would say the east. >> this is not just the story, i
think china. it's about countries like brazil. >> rose: about emerging... >> about the rest. which is why i very deliberately didn't say the west and the east. it's about everybody else. it's a minority of mankind, the west. it's ls than a filt and falling. it will barely be 10%f humanity. what's fascinating about our time-- because this isappeng in our generation-- is starting from the late 1970s the rest started to narrow the gap. a simple way of putting this is that in 1978 the average american was 20 times richer than the average chinese now it's less than five times. >> rose: and in ten years they'll have a larger economy than we do. >> maybe five years. i.m.f. thinks it's five years. >> rose: i.m.f. thinks it's five years? well, here's what's interesting-- and i knew because of you-- it was not inevitable that the west would have e dominance that it had, was it? >> not at all. if you would gone on a world tour in 1411, you would not have backed the west.
you wouldn't have been impressed at all by the little smelly tomes of western europe. you'd have been more impressed by ming, nanjing or by the ottoman emre. so the interesting thing about is this is it's a rather surprising thing that happens after 1500 that the small warring kingdoms of western europe take over the world and understanding why the happens is the real point of the book. that's the number one question. because it's so unlikely. if you think of what england was like in the early 15th century riven by civil strife, wraed by periodic plagues, with a homicide rate even in oxford where i used to teach, higher than anywhere in the world today it's just astonishing that these society which is then look pretty dysfunctional ended up producing the scientific revolution that produced the enlightenment and by the mid-20th century dominated everybody el. >> rose: but your central point here is that the rest went to
schooln our experience. they learned from our alps. >> yes, so i tried to explain western ascendancy in terms of killer apps which sounds rather facile but it's not a bad metaphor. because i'm really talking about ideas and institutions. man made things that changed behavior. so 500 years things like the work ethic or the consumer society, these things were pretty much monopolized by we earn sots, europe, north america, australia. in our time, theeal story is that our killer apps ve been downloaded by the rest. it was open access software. >> rose: they went to school on us. >> yeah, yeah. the japanese were the first to do that and they started quite a long time ago. so maybe japan in the late 1919th century copies western institutions and this works but it's only been in our time that the big populist cotry, china, brazil, indonesia, have sat down and said we can do this, too.
we can have the same kind of science and technology education as them. we can have the same economic model as them. >> rose: but the shortening of distance and time made it easier for them to do it, did it not? because of the technological innovations? time and distance became much shorte technologmakest very easy to disseminate knowledge. but that's not so new. after all, in the industrial volution, within a short space of time north americans copied the technology that the british had come up with. so in the sense tha there's a sort of piracy process at work here, where good ideas get copied, gd technology is replicated, i don't think we're seeingnything that new. but, yes, the speed at which thisappening is amazing. i think that's why most people find it hard to believe. there's a lot of denial out there. you know, you'll hear fairy stories often in the united states, sometimes in europe, for example, oh, the future will be just like yo iphone. itill be designed by a until
california and assembled in china. in other words, they can't really do innovation. >> rose: they can't have the idea. >> tt's not true anymore. measurably it's not true because if you look at the number of patents that are granted every year internationally, japan has been in the lead for some time. and korea is gaining. >> rose: japan stumbled. why did they stumble? >> that's an interesting question because in a way it's tempting to say well, that's at will happen to china, too. but i think japan's troubles is peculiar to japan. it's a population that has aged faster than anywhere else, partly because of the success of their post-war welfare state and because they don't have immigration to speak of. so you have rapid aging combined of course, with institutions that they had copyd from the west, including a welfare state that ultimately has been very hard to maintain with this aging population structure. there were mistakes in the banking system ithe late 1980 eyes and early 1990s which sounds qui familiar fro our ntage point.
japan's last t decades started with a real estate bubble and then with zombie nks and then they followed a giant explosion of public debt. >> rose: that started as a real estate bubble in china. >> well nothing on the scale of japan in the 1980s. >> rose: and there was a recognition of the government that we're at risk here. >> absolutely and what we've seen has been a sustained attempt by the chinese authorities to deflate that bubble it quite interesting, in fact, while we've been focused on europe in the last few weeks chinhas been finding it harder than the beijing authorities expected to bring this under control. property prices ealling faster than they expected an it turns out they have their shadow banking institutions rather on the u.s. model which are going bust on a large scale. >> rose: hedge funds. >> and off balance sheet vehicles with funny names and things that weren'tegulated. that's been going on in china in the last few years since they used their monetary stimulus, their expansi of bank lending to cope with our crisis.
so one thing this book is not sighing is that china is going to take over the world, it's a slam dunk and we should pack our bags and head for hong kong. i think china has problems in the pipeline. demographic... >> rose: meaning they don't have enougheople. the one style... one child policy? >> well, there's an enormous gender imbalance. there will be 22illion men without women in the generation... >> rose: and what social tension will that yes sglat >> that's an interesting question because there aren't many precedents in history for this. but men without women if you remember hemingway's srt story collection about men, they tend to be quite violent. i was in zambia earlier this year looking at china's empire in africa trying to uerstand it. a lot of young men from china are in africa at theoment trying to make money. they don't plan to stay there but they'll tell you i can make three times in zambia than i can back in china. if iork sev days a week for two or three years and go back i
have a better chance with the girls. that's a fascinating story. >> rose: i ao know people in the united states thinking if i had... if i was living my life over i'd move to china after getting my diploma. >> one of the questions i get from harvard students these days is what do i do next? >> rose: history students or business school studts? >> history students, actually. for the undergraduates it's no long immediately obvious that they should go to business school. increasingly they're saying should by learning chinese? >> rose: what do you say? >> wl, one wayf answering this question is to say, look, what made the west very successful included very, very good institutions. the rule of law was bette here than elsewhere and therefore it was a better place to start a business. that's no longer true. one of the things that blewe away we cently was when i looked a the measures of the efficiency from the rule of law that you can get out there. thu.s. performs pretty miserably by these measures. it's 15 out of 16 measures of the effectivenesof the rule of
law. the u.s. isn't even in the top 20 in the world. >> rose: what do we mean by the rule of law? >> this is an interesting question because ts is one of my killer apps, one o the things that sets the west apart... >> rose: it had a re of law. >> and the rule of law was a very specific thing. it was based on private property rights and their protection by representative assemblies which represented property owners from ash tear investors. investors were protected. if you bought a house you could be confident you wouldn't have it taken away from you. and the state existed to protect you from crime. now, the rule of law in that sense used to be something the west did better than everybody else. i don't think that's true any more. one of the things that started looking at me when i look tad effectiveness of theule of law was that we got worse at this. >> rose: what do that mean to get worse at the rule of law? >> here's specific instance.
althgh conservatives worry about big government, they don't worry enough about big law. because the costs on new business in this country don't just come in the form of taxes and regulation, they come in the form of lawyers bills. you know, what is the compliance department saying? youetter ask the lawyers. this conversation about coliance with complex regulations think of the 2,000 page dodd-frank bill. >> rose: and before that there was the other. >> right. it's getting more and more difficult to be an entrepreneur in this country. that's the harsh truth. the smal businesses and t startups that generally speaking generate jobs are way down with some very, very complex regulation and i would call these the hidden costs of a dysfunctional rule of law. it's worth in other countries. italy, for example, is far worse. >> rose: but at the same time we also need to be conscious of the fact that we do want and need important regulation.
we want to know that the food we eat is healthy. we want to know the plane wes get on will be safe. we want to know a lot of things that only government does. >> rose: and adam smith is one of the presiding geniuses over this book. it's smith's idea of the wealth of nations which iat the back of whati'm talkingbout. ith understood this and he was very alert to the need for regulation. but regulation doesn't need to be hugely complicated. in fact, the more transparent it is the more likely it's effective. we've forgotten that. we have lost site of tha and we've come to believe that complexity is good and it's a simplist reading of the last 20 or 30 years to say "all our problems happened because of deregulation so let's have a lot of regulation and things will be tter." i don't remember the 1970s going that brilliantly under a much more... under a much simple but yet burdensome system of regulation. >> some argue... not me. i've read one that said where the conversation about morality in this book?
>> i think there is a significant theme in the book which is concerned with the impact of protestantism and its distinctive morality. partly because of the work ethic and partly because of the thriftette chick we'v lost sight of. >> rose: or not lightly. >> but the core of luther's teaching made the difference in the early 16th century in europe was the idea that you as an individual were responsible to god and you needed to read the scripture yourself. you couldn't outsource it to a priest. that turns out to matter a lot and i should stress that i myself am not a religious person. but it matters a lot because once you have people reading the bible in their own language they can read anything. so i came to realize that it's not so much e protestant work ethic that matters it's the protestant word ethic. so that's the moral dimension of e story. now there'sanotr way of
putting it which is to say i don't lament enough that the west got more rich and powerful than the rest. i do a fair bi of lamentation talking about, for example, the ideas of'm pair shaded into ideas of eugene i cans and racial superiority. the book is expolice it and hostile towards racial explanations of the great divergence. >> rose: but china, take one example. will their... the velocity of their ascension be slowed by... on the one hand censorship? human rights? transparency. >> i think the big difference between what china is doing is that there's a killer app missing. the rule of law, priva property rights, you will look for these things in vain and more broadly speaking intellectual freedom, freedom of expression all of these are circumscribeed in the one party
state. china is doing something you never try to do. we're trying govern a fifth of humanity under... >> rose: a billion and three people. >> right. and therefore don't judge us by the standard of the united states or,or that matter, denmark. >> rose: does that argument ring true to you that somehow we should give them slack because they're a billion three people? >> i think there's some truth to it. if you spend time there you are struck by the here i almost overwhelming challenge. >> rose: is state capitalism the only system that would work there? >> i don'think. so i think one of the lessons of recent chinese historyis the less the state plays a role in economic life the better economy does. inome ways i think the idea of a statcapitalism is a ricature because the state plays a bier role in the european economies than it does in cna today. >> rose:hat's in terms of entitlements, you're talking about a social democratic model of a welfare state. >> rose: just for the size of the government. >> rose: and the british had... the savings rate in china and japan is because there had been not been a safety net so they
save in order to protect themselves. >> that's right. >> rose: and thenou have the children to take care of them, not the government. >> that's right. but that's not going to be true in the next generation because of the one-child policy. so they do have these problems and yet somehow it seems to me a bigger problem for them is that they cannot fully unleash the creativity of their citizens without the security that is offered by western institutions. the freedom, but also the security. what makes the rule of law distinctive in the west is it that creates freedom that is both economic and political not to mention religious. and i suppose the conclusion i came to was that... as i was suming the book up was that the stitutions that interest me mattered because they essentially allow for human freedom. and from that freedom comes the creativity that solves the problems that... >> rose: what ins institutions are you talking about? >> everything om the market ecomy to the ru of law through our educational system with its emphasis scientific
research as well as the humanities. the institutions are the things that transt our volume from generation to generation but they also preserve our freedom. and that the chinese don't yet have. >> rose: you are a historian, not just an east/west. what's the threat as you see it today of the inability so far to deal with the debt crisis? >>t's very grave. we are... i mean, serious people keep saying that in a... we think, well, they'll just muddle their way through but more and more i'm talking serious people who say maybe not. well, i was one of the serious people... >> rose: talking about spain and italy, you're talking about a trillion dollar economy versus a... >> well, there are two things. i was one of the people that said this wouldn't work 12 years ago. >> rose: what wouldn't work? >> i strongly argued against single currency. >> yes, you did. >> it struk me as a recipe for trouble because if unite the kurnsys but not the fiscal
systems, you're bound to hit some kind of collion. >> rose: go ahead, tell us what yomean in terms of not having the ability to print money, number one? >> this concern is a little technical so let me put hit in the most straightforward. >> rose: that i can understand. (laughs) >>ell, that i can understand. my students can understand and my kids can understand. the key here is if you create a single currency it's very important that you should have some mechanism from transferring resources from the more productive places to the less producve ones because the less productive onesave lost the opon to devalue, to have a weaker currency. no such mechanism was set up when the euro was establish. the on thing that was said was there would be one interest rate one must be and nobody leaves. you're not allowed to exit. other other problem is there was no natural integration of the labor market. in fact, the labor market diverged. the cost in labor in germany was held steady. everybody else went on a kind of spree. >> rose: are you also saying, though, if they'd been able to
overcome those impediments you would have been in favor it? >> i would not have been so hostile to the idea. i was never a big fan of it but... >> rose: suppose there was a european political union and a european monetary union and european fiscal union. would you say, by god, this is a dream since world war ii and thank god is happened? >> m not hostile to the idea of the united states and europe as long as britain isn't part of it. i think that is not compatib with british traditions but political and for that matter economic. and the impcations of creating a united states of europe today-- which is what is being discussed as we speak, this is the question. are you going to have a united states of europe? and if so, who will run it? it is very clear that the conversation today i esseially abou fiscal constraints. rules about budgets that cannot be breached. who is dictating those terms? who is insisting that there should be a balanced budget rule, a limit on how much government borrowing can be? the answer is the german government. those of us who always worried
about european iegration worried for historical reasons. the natural tendency for germany, the biggest economy, to dominate any federal europe has manifested itself itself. peacefully now, but it's happening and nobody should deny this. anybody you talk to, whether it's greece or italy, will admit that's the reality. >> rose: what's interesting about germany is there are people saying for a long time we wanted to make sure germany didn't do too much. now we're worried they will not do enough. the >> that there's an excellent speech by my old oxford friend, now polish foreign minister. one of the speeches of the year and it's remarkable to hear a polish foreign minister urging the germans to do more. by the way, the germans did not like this spee. but what he's saying is that you can't simply say to everybody "you must balance your budget, end of conversation." the germans sll don't recognize that if there's going to be so kind of united states of europe, they must be ready to transfer resources from
productive german taxpayers to less productive people in the mediterranean periphery just as productive texans accept that a chunk of their taxes will end up in less productive parts of the united states. as long as the germans want to have the benefits offederalism without the costs, power or other countries without theeed to give money to them, this is not going to be stable and it's not going to be a source of eupean harmony. i think is going to be a source of european friction. /think the euro may survive because it's hard to kill. i think the european union in its present form is highly unlikely to exist in ten years from now. i think britain will not stick around to be part of the project that essentially is a federal system. >> rose: so it gets out of the european union? >> it may well, and it can. that's possible. >> rose: even turkey comes in? >> that certainly won happen. the turks don't want that. >> rose: i'm not sure that's true. >> well, that's one of the interesting things about turkey todaand turkey plays a big part in civilization because the
otton empire should have done much better than it did. >> somargue that the turks have a vision of reviving the ottoman empire. >> one of the striking thingss about istbul today is peopl do not want to be in the e.u. anymore. that's a ten-year-old idea. today they see themselves as a new ottoman power extending their influence throughout a greater ddle east and becoming real players in a post-american middle east. >> rose: the interesting thing is one place where the united states in the context of the president, the t lears of rkey and the united states ha a very,ery good relationship. >> mr. erdogan is one of the cleverest men in international relations. >> rose: you tnk so? >> yes. >> rose:ecause heas a vision or because he has been politically adept in winning elections and... >> very adept domestically. >> rose: in making the case for a secular government. >> he's not making the case for a secular government.
a moderate islamist form of government. >> rose: he would dramatically disagree. he makes a speech in cairo telling them you need a secular government. and the people who oected most was the muslim brotherhood. that's making a case for secular government. >> i think that... >> rose: you're saying there's something he's doing? >> i think the key to understand erdogan's cleverness i that he can talk out of both sides of his mouth and say on the one hand we're the most western of all the powers in this region. but when you talk to people in kara what is going on is the dismantling of at turk's legacy. ataturk's legacy o a system of government that separated the state from islam is under way. >> rose: and it was a very powerful military which s prepared to step in if they didn't like the government. >> i think those days are over. >> rose: it seems to me the argument has to do more with autocratic power than it does
with the desire to creat a non-secular islamist state. i believe that he and those around him may like the idea of certain islamic traditions in the society but they don't want to create an islamist government. they want a secular government because they believe in it. >> this is the challenge of understanding... >> rose: but what do i know is >> these are important issues. what's striking about the way turkey is going that s that economically it's very dynamic. this is one of the great success stories. so they seem to be able to have a... i woulday a declining secular state. an increasingingly islamist apology the dynamic market economy. that's quite a feat and people are looking at that all over the arab world. >> rose: and they are impact arguing that they are the model. >> so when we talk about the west and the rest, let's not
talk about china. let's remember that players like turkey are going to play an increangly important role in the 21st century and they're building on an amazing historical legacy. >> rose: what role in the future in this century will iran play? >>ell, that could bedecided in the next 12 months. potentially could be decided by milita conflict. iran, i think, teetered on the brink of having a democratic revolution in 2009. perhaps we missed an opportunity to help it on its way. that's something for future historians to debate. >> rose: is a mistake that we and others have made in history. history ofte offers up the case of someone who, a, for whatever political reason was not aware of change that was beneath the surface in a society and therefore when it happened was unprepared for. did not know anybody that was involved in it. >> i think the opportunity arrid... >> rose: be exhibited. >> right. and the opportunity to harness
let's say the secular liberal energies may have been passed up. we could have had a spring. well, we did have a spring wh the libyan revolution d it was snuffed out. >> rose: you mean at the time of the election. >> in the summer of '09. thatas a moment wren history failed to rn. it was a turning point that di't happen and i thinkthe consequences of that could be disastrous. >> re: so that also raises a classic question, too, in... to the prident at that time. there were people on the street prose testing an election and the united states... and this happened in the arab spring in the beginning as well. what isour role now? president obama, obviously, d not, according to some of them, go far enough and i'm n talkinabout iran the time. should have been more forceful in identifying the w the people. on the other hand, he has a government he has to deal with which was the ahmadinad government. >> which he wasn't dealing with
at all. i think the lesson of the cold war is that we actually did a very good job, mostly covertly, of encouraging anti-communist dissident elements. the ultimately laid the foundation for civil society. >> and some times they were not democratic. there was also a judgment that we in a sense turn our back on democratic revolutions because we happen be friendly the powers that be. >> i think that was true in other parts of the world but not europe. in eastern europe. >> well, in the arab world. >> rose: >> if you think of what happened in 1989 in europe we had a very successful spring. eastern european spring... >> rose: the wall came down. and transition to democracy which has been an amazi success. >> rose: here's what's interesting... >> and it didn't happen without our playing a part because we diplay an important part... >> rose: the pope d and everybody else. >> we didn't do that in the north african and middle eastern world in anything like the same way. thinthat was a misd
opportunity. >> rose: on one case it was reagan, another case it was obama? >> we didn't have a good idea of how to encourage those forces partly because we didn'telieve they were there or, if you think of the neoconservative vision, we thought we could parachute our guys in. >> and do you think at this time what has been called pooh that peop still look tom the united states because of our founding documents? our bill of rights and our constitution and say we don't want to be like america in every way but a we do want to believe in those universal values that america is the best representation snowed >> and that part of the story of western civilization, it's a set of values but perhaps more importantly it's a set of institutions that protect those values and the way i see it is that it's the institutions that are most easily transplanted.
values vary. cultures diverse. not everybody wants to be an american. but what everybody wants to have is the rule of law. what everybody wantso have is security for their families and theiproperty and the freedom to express their thought those are universal values. >> rose: and dignity. >> and the essential dignity that is so often lacking in countries that don't have od institutions. that why i lay the emphasis more on institutions than on lues or culture. because i think these institutions will work anywhere. and that's ultimately a rather optimistic though not only could we make these initutions rk better in the west but we can see others adopt them. they can adopt institutions without them becoming like us. in that sense they're not threatening the way that perhaps an idea like the american w of life might be. >>ose: two points before u go bause i promised i'd get you out of here because you have to be making a speech somewhere. across town during holiday traffic. >> >> yeah, good luck, naill. >> rose: blame me. >> i totally intend to.
>> rose: (laughs) don't forget i have a big megaphone. this book is called... soon to be the motr of her first child and your fourth and we wish her good luck. i hope you'll come back for part two of ts conversationhen we can lure you back to the table if that's okay. >> it would be a huge pleasure. >> rose: for thousands of years, jerusalem has often been the most fought over city in the world. british prime minister disraeli once said "the view of jerusalem is the history of the world." it is the history of heaven and earth. in his new book, simon sebag montefiore chronicles the history of this place. the book is call "jerusalem: the biography." i'm pleased to have time back at this table. >> welcome. >> thank you, great to be here. >> i took note of this notion, "the biography" rathe than "a biography." >> yes. the idea is there are many books about bits of jerusalem as you
know, but there are very few complete histories of jerusalem and there are many books about architecture, about holiness and of course, this book is about those things as well but it's called the biography because jerusalem itself is a character. always described in the jewish scriptures as a beautiful woman. but also i wanted to write about the people that made jerusalem. poets, prophets, conquer conquerers, whores, kings, emesss, the people that made a city and lived in it. >> not just a place of building and holy sights. >> rose: not just a dusty place of historic buildings but people who inhabited the streets and corners. >> that's right. >> rose: how did you choose where to start and end? you started in 70... >> i started in 70 with the destruction of the city by titus. but th's an introduction that gives you a sort of theme, a great theme of drama, destruction. i mean, tus' sie of the city
almost belongs in the... in a catalog of horrors of the siege of leningr. the battle. it was a diabolical scene. but we actually start the book right back at king david and it goesrom canaanites and king david right up to netanyahu and barack obama. >> rose: what is e jerusalem sin sdplopl >> well, that's not about jerusalem. jerusalem syndrome is the madness puliar to jerusalem and the reason why it exists is because jerusalem exts on heaven and on earth. it's terrestrial and celeste rial. and people going there are oft deeply disappointed with jerusalem. they want to arrive at a holy city in white marble pristine perfect and they find the angriest messiest city so they go mad. there's a special lunatic asylum in jerusalem that deals with that. >> rose: it belongs to no one and exists for everyone. >> everyone feels they that they own a part of jerusalem. even secul people.
all relij you peoplef the three great faiths feel that... they know that the apocalypse will take place in jerusalem, outside the golden gate. but even the most secular people in places le new york or l.a. or paris or london feel they own a bit of jerusalem. they have a vision of what the authentic jerusalem should be like. >> rose: is this one of those cases where this was a book that u always wanted to write but you knew you had to be ready to write it? you had to be... it could only be writt when you'd had a certain experience under your sfwhelt >> that's right. ever since i was little i've been going to jerusalem and i always wanted to write a history of jerusalem but i had to think about how to do it. the concept of the biography. i read my russian books on stalin and catherinehe gre and then i felt the time was ready. and partly it was readyecause jerusalem is n more central than it has been for a long ti. it's again the center of the wod in so many ways. it's in the cross hairs of all the great conflicts of our time.
>> rose: can you see a solution to the israeli and palestinian conflict without an understanding about how jerusalem is for both of them? >> the deal between both sides is well known and is almost negotiate bud there has to be will on both sides. you can enforce these deals with kalashnikovs and m-16s, with u.n. charters and you can sign them on the dotted line with legal papers but it will only stick, t peace will only stick if both sides recognize the narrative,he suffering, the heritage, th tragedies and successes and try yums of the other side. the arabs must recognize... the jews must recognize a kud. >> rose: well said, but how will that happen? what will make them recognize that? >> ty will only do it when both sides are ready. and both sides are exhausted enough with conflict. >> rose: interesting point
because people do say that there s to be a a fatigue in order to define peace among warring factions. >> that's right. that's right. it's very inresting. the history is constantly being re-evaluated. chairman abb ofthe palestinian authority said t other day the palesnians... the arabs have missed huge opportunities. >> rose: '48. >> '48, '47. the u.n. plan then. jerusalem would then have been a u.n. city. a u.n. entity today. it wouldn't have been under israeli or arab control. >> rose: what amazed she the first time a palestinian leader said that. everybody knew... every reasonable assessment of the history could look back and say that was a painfully... >> but astonishingly in 1939 the british prime minister offered the palestinians complet independence with no jewish state and the leader then turned it down.
flatly. so that was probably the biggest opportunity. >> rose: why did he turn it down? >> he couldn't even tolerate any jewish immigration at all. he thought he could get a better deal but, of crse, that was the best deal the palestinians have received. not only in the 20th century or 201st century but ever in their entire history since the arabs took jerusalem in 638. >> rose: you're organizing things chron chrojally. >> yes. >> rose: why? >> thematic approach misses out the evolution of jerusalem, the evolution of the cims of both the arabs d the israelis and, by the way, i don't just look at jerusalem as israelis versus palestinians but as a wealth of... a mix of identities and this book is partly a study of holiness and empire but partly of identity. when they asked the arab mayor of jerusalem what his identity
was, he said i'm a jerusalemite, secondly i'm an ottoman and thirdly i'm an arab. so identity is complex. there's armenians and georgians, catholics and there's so my nationalities there, identities and concepts and layers of everythi. >> rose: and who was sir moses montefiorely. >> he was my ancestor who in 1860 founded the first subur outside the city walls which became the montefiore quarter and his windmill was there. >> rose: there was a museum? >> he was a great philanthropist he was what victorians thought a jew should beike. queen victoria us to s "there goes moses montefiore ray what a wonderful hebrew he is.
" he was my great uncle and he fought for jewish rights and he arrived as an italian immigrant in england and rose up to become a baron net and friends of queen victoria. >> rose: where are yourource nrs? >> well, iwent back to all these original sources. i mean, it's one of the joys of writing this book has been the stuff ie had to read. stuff i didn't know about. of course the bible, the koran, the holy text. but also wonderful travel writers, memoirists and archaeology as well and i spent a lot of time in tunnels digging where people were digging and finding out what he's happening and finding the latest finds which is so fascinating. in the city of david where they're searching for idence of king david they've found
something quite different. evidence of giant canaanite buildings dates from 1800 b.c. which is 800 years before king david. so they were digging expecting to fingreat jewish palaces. instead they find great canaanite fortresses. it'shat they've found is a mystery and that's the challenge of this. and i'm interested in facts and i want to tell... i want to write an unbiased, unprejudiced account of jerusalem, the truth. but, of course, jerusalem is a city of mythology, all the religions have their own stories and many are historically wrong. and yet people die for the myths. people die for the religious stories, if you like and so they're as important as the facts in jerusalem i can see a
shared city. a city with some new concept of sovereignty. they're looking at all sorts of crazy ideas which are very typical of jerusalem like who owns beneath the ground. whowns the ground. who owns the sky. >> rose: right, right. >> so it could be shed in some way. i'd love to see it like that because ilove jerusalem. >> rose: would you prefer to see it as an internation city. >> i don't know if international cities quite work. they've never worked historically. but i could see a tragedy. i could sifa gnat i can blowing up the fragile center of jerusalem. one structure could be destroyed and that would break the heart of the world. but equally every time jerusalem has been destroyed, 586 b.c. by the babylonians, 70 a.d. by the rope mans, it's just intensified the roe... place.
>> rose: have you seen... it seen a cruelty? >> this is a story of terrible massacres, slaughter, bigotry, insanity in every sense. but i also wanted to show another jerusalem and this is a jerusalem people don't normally see and i got this from the sources but i wanted to show jerusalem of music, of food, of love affair, of dancing, of women, the influence of women is enormous on jerusalem, for example. that ice a side you never see. i found wonderful palestinian diaries of the wonderful mixing between jews and muslims but also tell the stories of orgies and how russian pilgrims who arrived in jerusalem became the mistresses of powerful palestinians at the turn of the century and were prostitute it had. rasputin was there, for ample. the russian side of jerusalem is very important and exciting.
>> rose: we're talking about the arab spring and people question whether it's spring or not, what do you think? >> well, i think the western coverage has been extremely naive and revolutions take years to make and i think that could well be morelike a 1948 revolution than a sort of... 1789, if you like. in 1848 there were several years of great freedom and then a kaching down, a return to conservatism and that could easily happen. you're seeing a little bit in egypt at the moment with the military keeping control there. one thg is for certain. history evolving. it's going forward. it's never going to be the same again. it's not going too repeat itself. >> rose: because new waters have flown into the river. >> and this will affect... what happens in cairo and damascus will decide what happens to jerusalem too. that's part of one of the great themes of my book. >> rose: explain. >> jerusalem always reflects the
world around it. jerusalem is not just like a lens which you can look through but it's like a distorted mirror and throughout its history, 80, crusaders left europe to conquer jerusalem to find a jerusalem they could believe in. and jerusalem ways reflects the greater world, europe, america, russia and that's one of the great themes of the book and, of course, more and more believers now are look fog jerusalem. more fundamentalist chris lams, choo jews and muslims. >> rose: for? >> the second coming. the apocalypse. and all of this will happen? jerusalem. so whatever happens in the arab spring, whatever happens with the palestinian bid for statehood at the u.n. the one thing you can say for certain is it will end in jerusalem. up? and you first started going there when you were a kid? >> i started going there when i waa kid because of the montefiore background. i started going there because we
were always treated very well there. people know about the montefiore windmill and i wanted to go there but i didn't want to write a zionist history or a lestinian history. i wanted to write a history of jerusalem. this is as close i think to the equal truth for all sides as u can get. >> rose: great story, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> rose: john loengard has been fascinated with his father since fascinated with photogrhy since his fathe gave him h first camera. he's spent most of his career at "life" mazine. he focuses his lens on some of the mt important photographers of the last century. the it is called "age of silver: encounters with great
photographers" and there it is. i am pleased to have john lod at this table. silver obviously has to do with negatives. >> well, it has to do with photography. for cturies we knew a lens formed an image but nobody knew how to make the image permanent. in the 1830s, two men-- one in england and one in france-- discovered the chemistry of silver could do it. until the 21st century every still photograph was made using silver and the chemistry of silver. >> rose: what does a great photographer half v? >> a great photographer has the knack of putting a great picture in front of his camera. if you think about what cameras do, you realize that has to be the case. a great picture, that's kind of elastic. they don't put bad pictures in front of their cameras. they don't take pictures when it's bad. i always used to think it was an
eye and it was when i became a picture editor i realized it wasn't an eye, whatever that meant. >> rose: these are some of the stills in this book. first is annie leibowitz shooting from the top of a... on the 64th floor of the chrysler builng in 1991. let's see that image. >> that's the chrysler building, one of the eight on the 61st floor. she was going to give a lecture the rochester institute of technology and she wanted to pay tribute to margaret burke white who was a"life" photograph and she d a studio on that floor and always photographed herself on one one of the gargoyles. the thing that interested me is that annie was photographing her friend, a dancer... david parsons who's out of the frame. but the picture she took of parsons that she really likes is one she took in the studio when he was on the floor of his studio balancing on his elbows
and one knee. it's a wonderful, wonderful picture. she's right to prefer it to anything else and it proves you don't have to climb on a gargoyle to take a good picture. >> rose: the next we see is richard avedon. >> >> that was in his studio and he... just after a major show that opened at the whitney museum of american art in new york and gotten very... surprisingly dismissive reviews. >> rose: what year washis? >> oh, 1994. >> rose: because i remember that. this show started in 1991 and i remember that. go ahead. >> and avedon is rather controlling. i just met him this time but he's got that reputation so all the magazines had been running pictures of his self-portraits. apparently he wouldn't let them send photographers to photograph. the show opens, the reviews were dismissive and "people" magazine asked me to photograph him and he immediately led me to this room which is absolutely wonderful. he's got this wall, it's a book
of poetry and a photograph of roberto lopez part of his "in the american west." >> this is andre carte. >> who refused to be photographed for 40 years and the museum of modern art was showing his early photographs and he wanted to publicize it for them so he agreed "life" magazine could do a pictu story and his first question was "can you take all the pictures from behind?" and i said "no, i can't." >> rose:no. no. >> and i felt the most important thing to do was nail him down as quickly as possible. get that face. so he started taking pictures of me. rose: i can imagine. >> and i wt to cli so i had a motor on my camera and we sounded like two insects getting into each other and he thought this was amusing and he giggled. >> rose: the next someone cartier, a closeup. >> i just moved into the left
just to nail down this monumental head of his. of course he kept his hand up there because... at least he kept part of his face hidden. >> rose: do you think he understood what a great photograph would be so therefore he was trying togive you a pose that he thought would be good? >> no, i think it's like being chair.entis you say "i've it's going to be over in a second."nt >> rose: who is this? >> it's hen l'artig. a terrific couple. >> his third wife. they'd been married 35 years when this photograph was taken. >> rose: so taking photographers, is it different in any way than simply taking portraits of interesting people? >> they're more innocent, i think. >> rose: really. >> well, say, than a politician. >> rose: of course.
>> go photograph romney. >> rose: but what about a poet or a scientist? >> it's all the same, i think. i felt this was just when photraphy was becoming so well known that they would be photographed by people like me who would try to catch them in the act of living and their defees were down. >> re: here is annterview with cart cartier in his paris studio november 6, 2010. here it is. how do you get better than this? this work goes back to the '30s, the '40s, the '50s. i don't know of anyone who's takinging better photographs anywhere. nor does anyone els than what i see on these walls. >> i take portraits now. it's the most difficult, portraits. >> why? >> because you have to pretend that you're not there.
i enjoy very much taking portraits. >> rose: you do? >> yes. and now i'm taking portraits of you. >> rose: but you don't have a camera. you like portraits because? every face is different? >> because (inaudible) it's very delicate. between the earth and your skin. guessing, guessg, guessing. >> rose: guessing? >>hat, i don't know.
but guess. >> rose: you don't like to be photographed. >> i don't care, really. >> rose: you don't. you don't care? >> depend it depends. >> rose: he doesn't like to be photographed. >> he refused. >> i think he wanted to look like that. >> rose: are you serious? >> well, slightly serious. >> rose: but he had a sense of what he wanted to look like. >> and i'm not sure he looked... >> rose: the way he would like to look. >> that's right. >> rose: book is called "age of silver: encounters with great photographers." wow. congratulations. >> well, thank you very much. >> great to have you here. >> pleasure.